7 Days » Yoga, Surfing and Photography in Amazing Costa Rica

7 days / 6 nights

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Exercise your mind, body, and spirit

Founded in 1997, the School of the World combines elements of Costa Rica surf camp, language school, yoga retreat, photography workshop and boutique hotel under one roof. Like-minded travelers from all over the world come here to pursue a passion, learn some new skills, and make lifelong friendships.

The School of the World is a Costa Rica surf camp + surf school for all skill levels, and we are one of the most established and well respected surf camps in Costa Rica. Learn to surf in the warm waters of Costa Rica any week of the year. Get ready to drop in!

Yoga, surfing and photographing are good for your body, mind, and soul. This combination is sure to keep you feeling amazing inside and out. Surf sessions are 2 hours a day (M-F), yoga classes are 1.5 hours each day (M-F) and photography classes are 2 hours a day + 3 field trips per week.  The yoga and photography schedule changes weekly to accommodate the surf schedule and tides.

Surf: Our expert instructors cater to all skill levels from beginners to advanced. Warm water year round, consistent surf conditions, and local breaks for all levels of surfers, the Playa Jaco area is an amazing place to surf! The School of the World has been widely respected as one of the top surf schools in Costa Rica for over 16 years.

Beginners learn the basics of paddling, standing, and turning, as well as wave selection and other fundamental skills from our instructors, some of the best and most experienced in the country. They have completed rigorous international surf instructor and ocean lifesaver training, so you will feel comfortable and safe in the water. Here at School of the World we have been teaching people to surf day in and day out since 1997. In addition to the daily surf sessions, we also incorporate land based balance training and photo + video review sessions into our programs.

Already a surfer? Then you know great surf is a recipe of a lot of elements coming together perfectly- swell, direction, tide, wind, time of day, and season are all factors. Local knowledge is key to scoring great waves on vacation, and having a great place to hang out between surf sessions is a big bonus. Just a few reasons why surfers keep coming back to School of the World’s surf camp! Let our experienced Costa Rica surf guides show you the best waves around and help you take your surfing to the next level.

*Surf classes generally have no more than three students per instructor.

Yoga: Class sizes are small and our experienced instructors keep learning fun and relaxed. Our certified instructors blend their training in Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Anusara yoga into the practice. Whether you are a beginner or have years of experience, our intention is for you to leave with the tools necessary to enrich and deepen your practice.”

Photography: Photography class is a mix of fun lessons, field trips, and editing in our digital darkroom suite. Beginners become acquainted with the fundamentals of photography, digital workflow, and basic digital editing. Intermediate and advanced photographers learn new shooting techniques and advanced editing, and students of all skill levels benefit from having a local guide take them to shoot at amazing locales they otherwise would never see.


General information Review Like

Yoga Styles

  • Hatha Yoga

  • Ashtanga Yoga

  • Vinyasa Yoga

  • Iyengar Yoga

  • Anusara Yoga

Instruction

7 / 7 days with instruction
English Instruction language
Spanish Spoken language(s)

Difficulty Level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Minimum age allowed is 18
  • The maximum participants in the group is 30
  • Seasonality

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    Daily Program Review Like

    Our schedule is created on a weekly base and completely written on the tides of the ocean, the amount of people and their course combinations. Therefore, it changes every week.

    In terms of hours, the classes will be divided as following:

    Surf: 1 session (2 hours) a day, transportation to the beach, surfboard and instructor is included. Based on the tides, surf can take place anywhere between 6am and 4pm.

    Yoga: 1,5 hours a day, yoga mat and other equipment is included. Yoga usually is the first class or the last class of the day, so everyone is able to attend.

    Photography: approximately 2 hours a day, 2-3 fieldtrips per week included

    Accommodation Review Like

    Our beautiful facility has free Wi-Fi for our guests, a shared kitchen and dining area, 12 guestrooms, outdoor lounge, pool, garden, and lots of great spots to hang out and relax. It is located in a quiet neighborhood close to the center of town and is just a few minutes walk from the beach, dozens of great restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and everything else you could need.

    Standard Shared Room - All of our shared guestrooms (double occupancy) have private bathrooms, air conditioning, ceiling fans, hot water, refrigerators, cotton sheets and comfortable beds. We will pair you with someone of the same gender and age range if you are traveling alone or you can request a roommate and we will happily accommodate you.

    Private lodging - treat yourself and relax in style in one of our guestroom upgrades. We have some rooms that are allocated for use as upgraded shared rooms, or as private guest rooms. Most of them are located in the main building, which has the peaceful feel of a tropical treehouse. These rooms have one full size and one single bed, 100% cotton sheets, refridgerator, private bathroom, and A/C. Private rooms are available on a first-come first-serve basis so please reserve in advance, especially during our peak seasons (Dec-March and May-Aug)

    Private deluxe lodging - Our deluxe private rooms are great for traveling couples, or just spoiling yourself with an oversized bed for those after surf siestas! These rooms have super comfortable king size beds, cotton sheets, complimentary bath towel service, A/C, refridgerators, private bathrooms, and ceiling fans. Private rooms are available on a first-come first-serve basis so please reserve in advance, especially during our peak seasons (Dec-March and May-Aug).

    Staff Review Like

    Lucia
    instructor
    Head Spanish Instructor: Lucia grew up in San Jose, Costa Rica and is the newest member of the family at the School of the World. She enjoys all sports, especially mountain biking, ballet, and salsa. She is currently learning to surf and volunteers at the local chapter of the Christian Surfers in the evenings.

    Laura
    instructor
    Spanish Instructor: Laura is also Costa Rican and is one of our Spanish instructors. She speaks Spanish and English fluently, and loves to teach. In addition to working at the school she also performs ballet and owns her own dance and arts studio where she teaches dance, guitar, drums, ballet, and taekwondo to kids. Laura is in charge of our Salsa dancing workshops.

    Carlos
    instructor
    Head Photography, GoPro, and Surf Instructor: Carlos is an accomplished Costa Rican artist, photographer and surfer. He started working at the School of the World in January of 2006. He is certified in ocean safety and rescue, as well as CPR. He has exhibited his art in San Jose, Miami, and New York. In his spare time he enjoys surfing, skating, photography, painting, and fishing. Carlos also teaches some of the specialty photography and editing workshops, and assists Zach and Natazha with video projects.

    Alonso
    instructor
    Surf Instructor: Alonso was born and raised in Jaco, Costa Rica and started teaching surf when he was only 14 years old, before even he knew how to surf. Alonso is an accomplished competitive surfer, having won 4th place in the boys division of Costa Rica. He began working at the school in February of 2011 and is certified in ocean safety and rescue, as well as CPR. In his spare time he likes to surf, train for surfing, and is also an accomplished MMA fighter, with quite a few wins under his belt.

    Alejandra
    instructor
    Head Yoga Instructor: Alejandra is from San Jose, Costa Rica. She began practicing yoga at an early age and realized she wanted to dedicate her life to this discipline. Her foundations are Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and Anusara Yoga. Alejandra is always deepening her practice, and travels to India yearly to study directly with the masters. She brings what she learns back to Costa Rica to share with our staff and guests.

    Catalina
    instructor
    Yoga Instructor Catalina is from San Jose, Costa Rica and has lived in Playa Jaco since 2003. Her foundation is in Vinyasa flow with an inspiration in anusada alignment. In her free time she likes to read and spend time with her two kids.

    Additional Things to do Review Like

    • Tours
    • Hiking
    • Weekend Trips

    What is included Review Like

    • Surf classes - 2 hours per day (Monday to Friday).
    • Yoga classes - 1,5 hour per day (Monday to Friday).
    • Photography classes - 2 hours per day (Monday to Friday) + 3 field trips per week.
    • Accommodation.

    What is not included Review Like

    • Meals - Food is not included in our programs. Our guest rooms have refrigerators, the school has a fully equipped shared kitchen, and there is a wide array of restaurants and grocery stores within walking distance.
    • Surfboards are provided for use during class, however to minimize our equipment loss and damage we do not loan them out after class. If you wish to surf outside of class time you will need to bring your own board or rent one from a surf shop in town. Surfboards cost about $10-20 per day to rent.
    • Wetsuits: Costa Rican waters are warm and you will not need a wetsuit. Rashguards are recommended as they protect from the sun and surfboard wax rashes. If you cannot buy one before you arrive there are many surf shops in town where you can get one.
    • We do not provide towels or laundry service. There is a laundromat nearby. If you forget or don't want to travel with towels you can buy them in town once you arrive. It is recommended to bring an extra if you are taking surfing or yoga classes.
    • Airfare.
    • Transfer from/to  the airport.

    Know before you go Review Like

    • Check-in on Sunday and check-out is always on Saturday.
    • Electricity: The outlets (electricity) are the same as in the United States (110v). If you are coming from a European country, or Australia, you will need an adapter.”
    • Currency: It is not necessary to change your dollars ahead of time, as they are accepted in most tourist towns and areas of Costa Rica. You can also withdraw money in the local currency through an ATM or exchange money at one of the local banks if you wish.
    • Shot: For the most up to date medical information for travelers check with the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga. U.S.A. www.cdc.gov/travel/camerica.htm Malaria medication and other tropical disease preventatives are usually only recommended if you plan to travel to the remote regions of the rainforest.

    How to get there Review Like

    You will want to fly into Juan Santa Maria airport (SJO) in San Jose.

    We can arrange for an airport pickup for $90 US. When possible we help arrange car pool for guests arriving at the same time so they can share the costs.

    If you would like us to organize this for you we will need your flight number, airline name and arrival date and time.

    Booking Review Like

    Cancellation Policy

    Non Refundable

    Deposit Percentage

    35%

    The rest of the payment should be made on arrival

    Features Review Like

    Activity
    • Cooking Classes

    • Hiking

    • Surfing

    General
    • Air-Conditioned Rooms

    • Beach

    • Eco-Friendly

    • Garden

    • Kitchen

    • Multilingual Staff

    • Yoga Studio

    Services
    • ATM / Banking

    • Car/MotorBike Rental

    • Convenience / Grocery Store

    • Free Wi-Fi

    • Local Market

    • Medical Assistance

    • Room Cleaning

    • Tour Assistance

    Customer Reviews

    4 Item(s)

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    1. Review by

      Posted on

      The best place ever!
      100%
      Accommodation and Facilities
      100%
      Quality of the Experience
      100%
      Value for money
      100%
      Atmosphere
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      Services and Communication
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      Food
      My sister and I stayed at SOW for about 2 weeks to learn surfing and also do Spanish photo and yoga. We couldn’t have had a better experience. From the accommodations to the teachers to the other students, it was perfect. The surf instructors are all absolute gems (especially Christian, Carlos, Ivan, and Juan Carlos). They are extremely patient and wonderful instructors. We always felt super safe and had so much fun! The yoga classes were great, we especially liked the classes with Rodin. The Spanish teachers are super sweet, patient and extremely knowledgeable. Kirsten in the front office is awesome - she really goes above and beyond for the guests. She helped us book tours and answered all of our questions about the school and Jaco generally. If I could I’d give SOW 100 stars - we can’t wait to go back!
    2. Review by

      Posted on

      Exceeded My Expectations
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      Value for money
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      Atmosphere
      100%
      Services and Communication
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      Food
      100%
      Accommodation and Facilities
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      Quality of the Experience
      I was a bit apprehensive about booking this property since I am several decades older than most of the guests, but after awhile it really didn't matter. The folks that attend this school tend to be on the sophisticated side which made up for the age difference.
      I took the 'double surf' program meaning I had two sessions of surfing a day. This was unusual among the surf camps I investigated as most only offered one class per day. The school does it's best to maximize the use of the two daily high tides. I found the instructors to be positive, encouraging, helpful and safely conscious. I did not feel that as a beginner I was not important - I was always treated with respect.
      Classes other than surfing are scheduled around the tides so that everyone has an opportunity to take multiple classes.

      I had booked a shared room but had it to myself as there were enough rooms available to allow that. My room was clean, with a frig and a sink to wash dishes. Maid service halfway through the week. AC was available. Lots of hot water for showers. I somehow missed the message to bring your own towels.
      The very helpful and personable staff is not available in person 24/7 but can be contacted by phone. The maids and maintenance man are very friendly and accommodating.
      I took one drop-in Spanish class while I was there. As someone who already speaks some Spanish, I thought the class was great.
      Large communal area for staging before classes.

      I would not hesitate to recommend this property for anyone who enjoys a social atmosphere with the options of meeting new people from many countries.
    3. Review by

      Posted on

      Amazing
      100%
      Value for money
      100%
      Atmosphere
      100%
      Services and Communication
      100%
      Food
      100%
      Accommodation and Facilities
      100%
      Quality of the Experience
      A friend and I spent a week in SOW where we did Surf & Yoga and absolutely loved it, The house and rooms are great and clean. The surf and yoga instructors are amazing, friendly, patient, caring. The other travelers there were also very nice and open and made our week even better. I can't wait to come back !!!
    4. Review by

      Posted on

      A magical stop out from your ordinary life
      100%
      Atmosphere
      100%
      Services and Communication
      100%
      Food
      100%
      Accommodation and Facilities
      100%
      Quality of the Experience
      100%
      Value for money
      At a somewhat advanced aged I did not know whether or not I would be able to fulfill a long time goal of learning to surf, but the wonderful, caring, and patient instructors at the School of the World worked with me on technique and movement so that after some frustrating attempts I was able to first get up on a surfboard and then under their skilled instruction advance eventually to a feeling of competence. One of the really wonderful aspects of learning to surf at School of the World was how supportive everyone in the community was with one another. The instructors set the tone. You would constantly see them cheering for students that were a few waves down in the lineup working with others instructor, when one or another of us would catch a good way. Everyone had some common sense of the challenges and difficulties, and everyone celebrated each other’s successes.. The weekly video surf analysis sessions were another expression of the same community support. Students viewed videos of themselves and the other students and everyone was so supportive of each other’s efforts. I remember the first time in those sessions that I was actually able to get up on a board after much struggle, and how happy everyone was for me.
      This feeling of community extends to the whole experience of being at School of the World – – students do classes in surfing and Spanish and photography together and go out with each other to eat, listen to music, take excursions. I also took an advanced class Spanish class, and participated in the Spanish “ labs” in which students from all levels interacted around games or cooking or visits to restaurants or the beach and the feeling of community was the same. It is such a powerful experience to step in to this feeling of community, with people from literally all over the world. The staff and instructors, with their constant focus, , friendliness, and caring, somehow weave this a sort of magical stop out from the push and shove of our other everyday lives . As other reviews have noted, leaving that kind of community is a sort of a shock, and I am certainly not the only person who has expressed the desire to return. I actually was able to return, for a second trip and I found that stepping in the community again was sort of like returning to a family or group of friends that you valued and treasured. The staff all remembered who I was and I even met some of the students that I had previously spent time with. I plan on returning, regularly, as many other reviewers have intended. For a powerful and transformative experience in learning, cross-cultural immersion, and a feeling of intrusion I cannot recommend School of the World highly enough.

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